I didn't always teach kindergarten. They added kindergarten hap-hazardly in my old district. They never had a full plan of what art would look like, much less a curriculum in place. When I moved to a new district there was a curriculum but only 30 minutes a week to get through it.
Those first weeks in kindergarten are tough, for the homeroom teacher and specials teachers. Those kinders have a difficult time lining up, much less getting supplies in and put back in 30 minutes time. I have found over the years that a consistent activity for the first three weeks helps introduce routines, teach concepts, and reinforce classroom management.
Inspired by Keith Haring I designed a small book that we complete over a series of three weeks that helps me get to know the kiddos and assess their fine motor skill level. I write each student's name in bubble letters on the cover and have the students complete the character to look like them. In the weeks following; we draw, color, and chat about art in and out of our room. The book is a great way to remind students (and me!) where they sit and teach routine.
SCribd changed their policies awhile back, you can also find the file on my google drive by following this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2_hFbAOrEDFNDNJRWVmWWdEZ1E/view?usp=sharing
I'm always inspired by the projects that are displayed on les petites tetes de l'art . I saw an image a few months back that got me thinking about kindergarten and having a discussion with classes about the power that an artist has to transform an image. To take something he or she sees and change it. Whether they paint it, sculpt it, make a weaving inspired by it, cut it up and glue it down in a different arrangement the artist is making deliberate actions to create something new from what they were inspired from. We explored this concept in the most basic way.
Kindergarners chose an image from a variety that I had torn out of magazines. They then used stickers to change that image. We had a great class talk on putting hte stickers down deliberatly and not "willy nilly". They had a blast and it was a great lesson.
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Thanks, and sorry for the runaround.
I love looking at Eric Carle with kinder. I think it's a great lesson, talking about author, illustrator, and artist as one. I usually show the short Mr. Rodgers episode where he visits Eric Carle in his studio and kinders then have the opportunity to make papers in the same manner as Mr. Carle.
It's a great follow up on exploration of color and children love just playing and experimenting with paint and tolls to make texture. After the paper is made is where I always fell short ... what to do with all of the fabulous handmade paper. In my opinion and experience kindergarten was just too young to plan their character and cut and glue it together.
I found success after being inspired (once again) by the blog, les petites de l'art . I think this blogger does such a nice job of teaching art concepts and history while letting each child explore those concepts in their own way. I used the green papers made by kinder and had them cut them into lots of triangles and punched circles of all the other colors. Children glued their triangles together to build a tree and were given the option of using the colored circles as well. We modge-podged as we went and they really turned out beautiful. The kids liked that they were shiny.
The following week I have students the option of stamping as well. Children used alphabet stampers to stamp MY TREE in whatever language they chose. I had printed out the words, MY TREE in a variety of languages so the kids could look at them while they stamped. The document is attached at the bottom if you would like to use it. What sorts of Eric Carle projects have you done?
I've been working on mapping out my year and expanding my curriculum for awhile but I'm really excited to tackle art history in particular with a more complete, organized, and fun angle this year.
I liked the idea of covering the span of art history (or at least the highlights) over the entire kinder-fifth grade experience, rather than trying to tackle the entire thing each year. I thought this would lead to a more thorough and complete picture for kids as well as a good way for me to stay organized. What do you all do to touch upon art history in the elementary school? What is missing from my map?
I am extremely fortunate to have a very committed, well connected, passionate community that supports the arts in a very big way. Each year they raise funds to bring in a visiting artist that works with students to make a communal artistic experience or project. Sometimes it's a poet, other years it's a visual artist. This past year, I was fortunate enough to have an incredible amount of freedom when planning the Artist in Residence with our PTA (parent teacher association).
I decided to make the most of our budget and go all in. Now, looking back on this - it was a bold decision to create such a large project, much of which rested on my shoulders knowing I would be 9 months pregnant when all this would come together. But, I wouldn't change a thing, The artists that we worked with were incredible and the experiences and outcomes that the students experienced were nothing short of spectacular. Below is the description of one of the three artist in residence experiences that I built for our elementary students.